The scientific tourist #235 — A-7D “Corsair II”

Another bit of warbird history from the South Dakota Air and Space Museum — an A-7D Corsair II:

A-7D Corsair II

The A-7 was developed as a ground attach aircraft, filling in for the aging A-4 Skyhawk, and holding down this role until the advent of the A-10 in the 1990’s. First fielded in the 1960’s in Vietnam, it had to be a thrifty aircraft — and so was based on an existing design, and optimized for low fuel usage. As a result, the A-7 was a maneuverable and durable but subsonic craft — pilots would quip that the Corsair “is not very fast, but it sure is slow.”

Most nations’ fleets of A-7s were retired during the 1990’s, but Greece and Thailand still have some in service. Dozens of them are on static display around the U.S.

From the placard:

A Navy design to replace its A-4, the aircraft proved its capabilities in the Vietnam War. The basic design was adapted from the F-8 Crusader, but was a totally different aircraft for a different mission. Designed to carry a substantial bomb load and be able to loiter over the battlefield delivering very accurate weapons, the aircraft became a major weapon system for the attack and close air support role. The A-7 was one of the few designs developed by another service accepted into the USAF.

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